Departmental Bulletin Paper What is at stake? Japan’s shift from norm beneficiary to norm protector

畠山, 京子  ,  Kyoko, Hatakeyama

106pp.81 - 98 , 2017-09 , 関西外国語大学・関西外国語大学短期大学部
Japan had maintained low diplomatic profile in the security arena. However, it became proactive and articulate in recent years. Japan’s shift can be observed by its active engagement in the South China Sea issues. For instance, Japan started to provide military assistance to littoral countries that have territorial disputes with China. Many observers and analysts link Japan’s active engagement in the South China issue with the Senkaku Islands, on which China claims its sovereignty, or the changing balance of power caused by China’s recent rise. It is not deniable that a concern for the Senkaku issue is one of the factors contributing to Japan active involvement. However, this view is too simplistic. I argue that the reason operating behind Japan’s shift is its apprehension for a possible change of regional norms and order. Perceiving China’s intention to change the regional order and norms, Japan is trying to protect the norms Japan has greatly benefited from as a‘ norm protector’ by disseminating its views and providing incentives to the regional countries.

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